PH files diplomatic protest vs China anew


June 13, 2014

MANILA – The Philippines lodged another diplomatic protest against China’s reclamation in Kennan Reef (Hughes Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Friday.

In a press briefing, Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said the protest was filed last week, after the government confirmed that China has been carrying out land reclamation activities in Kennan Reef.

On April 4, the Philippines protested China’s reclamation on Mabini Reef, but China rejected the protest.

President Aquino had also raised China’s reclamation on Mabini Reef during the ASEAN Summit in Myanmar last month.

On March 30, the Philippines submitted a 4,000-page memorial detailing its arguments and evidence against China’s nine-dash line and other aspects of Beijing’s expansive and excessive claims in the West Philippine Sea to an arbitral tribunal at The Hague.

The arbitration case was filed based on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to clarify the country’s maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea.

After it was revealed that China is reclaiming land on Mabini Reef, Aquino also said that Chinese ships were also spotted in the Cuarteron (Calderon) Reef and Gaven (Burgos) Reef.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario also said that the government will file a protest against China once reports of movements by Chinese ships and reclamation in these areas are verified.

China’s ongoing land reclamation in five reefs — the Johnson South (Mabini) Reef, Cuarteron (Calderon) Reef, Hughes (Kennan) Reef, Gaven (Burgos) Reef and Eldad (Malvar) Reef in the West Philippine Sea — is widely seen by the Philippine government as preparation for more land reclamation operations.

DFA explained that China’s reclamation of Mabini Reef changes its features, and may affect the Philippines’ case against China.

Under the UNCLOS, maritime features like rocks and reefs are entitled to 12 nautical miles of territorial sea without an exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

This maritime entitlement may be changed if the Mabini Reef’s character – from being a rock into an island – is altered.

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Kuya
    13 June 2014 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    I can’t comprehend why the Philippine government is afraid of playing the game that china wants . Are we just going to close our eyes in everything they are doing? Can’t you play hide and sick or firing water canons with the Chinese ? Come on! There’s nothing to be scared of guys. They won’t fire a single shot on you guys because they are only trying to bully you. If you will only show them that you are ready to play their games, they will surely think hundred times again before they make their next move.. Try it okay? There’s no harm in trying but a lot to lose if you only close your eyes……

  • Mario
    14 June 2014 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Artificial island is being constructed at Mabini’s reef, 35 acres of land is already reclaimed and 5 more reefs to follow. The first phase will be a military harbor and it will function like an anchored aircraft carrier, defended by fighter jets and hundreds of missiles. Onced this bases is built, it would be practically impossible to removed them. Decisions from UN court will take years and China will never respect that decision. Blame your former President by kicking out the American at Subic and Clark air base. This is what we got. A Chinese missiles is few minutes away to any target in the Philippines.

    14 June 2014 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Bad News …. China are planning to build an airstrip in one of those claimed island …
    The good news is , they ‘re goin to employ Filipinos to build it for them.